An excerpt concerning life balance published with permission from the beautiful, newly reprinted Being in Balance, Hay House, Inc. (2016)
The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird sleeps in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities…” — James Allen
One of the huge imbalances in life is the disparity between your daily existence, with its routines and habits, and the dream you have deep within yourself of some extraordinarily satisfying way of living.
In the quote that opens this [article], James Allen poetically explains that the dream is the magical realm out of which newly created life emerges. Buried within you is an unlimited capacity for creation, what Allen calls “a waking angel” that’s anxious to plant seedlings to fulfill your dreams and your destiny.
True imagination is not fanciful daydreaming, it is fire from heaven.” — Ernest Holmes
I simply couldn’t resist adding the Ernest Holmes quote describing this dynamic imagination as “fire from heaven.”
True imagination is not fanciful daydreaming; it is fire from heaven.
— Ernest Holmes
One of the huge imbalances in life is the disparity between your daily existence, with its routines and habits, and the dream you have within yourself of some extraordinarily satisfying way of living. Buried within you is an unlimited capacity for creation that’s anxious to plant seedlings to fulfill your dreams and your destiny. The absence of balance between dreams and daily routine can reveal itself in symptoms of depression, illness, or anxiety—but it’s more often something that feels like an unwelcome companion by your side, which continually whispers to you that you’re ignoring something. You sense that there’s a higher agenda; your way of life and your reason for life are out of balance. Until you pay attention, this subtle visitor will continue to prod you to regain your equilibrium.
When you live your life going through the motions, it may seem to be convenient, but the weight of your dissatisfaction creates a huge imbalance in the only life you have now. It shows up when you’re sound asleep and your dreams are filled with reminders of what you’d love to be, but you wake and return to pursuing your safe routine. Allow yourself to think about this “fire from heaven.” What are your dreams and how can you shift your thinking habits to match your dreams? Commit to thinking about what you want, rather than how impossible or difficult that dream may seem. Give your personal dreams a place to hang out so that you can see them in your imagination and they can soak up the energy they deserve. Thoughts are mental energy; they’re the currency that you have to attract what you desire. Learn to stop spending that currency on thoughts you don’t want. Your body might continue, for a while, to stay where it’s been trained to be, but meanwhile, your thoughts are being aligned with your dreams. Align your inner creative energy—your thoughts—so that they match up perfectly with your desires. Dream and you shall become.
The 77th verse of the Tao Te Ching suggests thinking about the surpluses we can put back into circulation to decrease deficiencies that exist elsewhere in our world. Lao-tzu asks you and me to put the wisdom of this verse to work in our personal lives by seeing what we have but don’t need as an opportunity to be “Tao people.” Lao-tzu isn’t asking our government, political leaders, or captains of industry, but us personally: “What man has more than enough and gives it to the world?” The answer is, only the man or woman of the Tao. When there are enough of us, there will be a pool from which we Tao-centered people emerge to govern. Then we’ll put into place the way of living offered in this verse.
It’s fairly simple to understand a surplus of money or possessions, but the word actually symbolizes much more. For example, there’s the surplus of joy you feel that you can offer to yourself and your family. Then there’s the excess of intellectual prowess, talent, compassion, health, strength, and kindness you can share with the world. Whenever you see deficiencies in joy, abundance, educational opportunities, perfect health, or sobriety, make your own surpluses available. Lao-tzu urges you to look at what’s deficient and be an instrument of increasing, rather than a collector of more, which marginalizes and divides the oneness that is all of life.
Reduce what’s in excess in your life and then offer it where it can be utilized. Begin with your stuff: clothing, furniture, tools, equipment, radios, cameras, or anything that you have too much of. Don’t sell it; rather, give it away (if you can afford to). Don’t ask for recognition for charitable acts—simply behave in harmony with the Tao by reducing your surplus. Then think about your intangible abundance of health, joy, kindness, love, or inner peace, and seek ways to offer those glorious feelings to those who could benefit from your bounty.
Just as nature fills voids by maintaining the cyclical balance necessary to our world, be an instrument of increasing where you observe deficiencies. Practice giving by dedicating a portion of your earnings to be used to ease deficits, for as Lao-tzu points out, “The master can keep giving because there is no end to his wealth.” If you can’t offer money to those who are less fortunate, say a silent blessing for them. Offer a prayer when you hear an ambulance or police car siren. Look for opportunities to fill the empty spaces in other people’s lives with money; things; or loving energy in the form of kindness, compassion, joy, and forgiveness. Be a man or woman of the Tao!